Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly told its employees that he’s “really worried” about the implications of a potential ban by the US government on TikTok at recent-all hands meeting with Facebook employees. And that this whole current situation can have a long-term impact on the other countries as well.
What Zuckerberg is Thinking
According to Mark Zuckerberg, any non-native app which accesses a lot of people’s data that follows the rules of another country should raise valid national security concerns. Especially when the app belongs or is controlled by another country that’s directly competing with your own country.
“I just think it’s a really bad long-term precedent, and that it needs to be handled with the most possible care and gravity whatever the solution is,” Zuckerberg reportedly said. “I am really worried…it could very well have long-term consequences in other countries around the world.”
Current Situation of TikTok in US
Donald Trump recently threatened to ban the TikTok app in the US due to its tie to China, unless an American company buys its operations in the US.
And now TikTok’s parent company (ByteDance), is scrambling to find a buyer for its operations in the US by Sept. 15. If they don’t meet that deadline, Trump will instate a nationwide ban on their viral video-sharing app (TikTok).
On this, Facebook employees reportedly asked Zuckerberg whether Facebook was interested in acquiring TikTok as did it with Instagram, but the CEO refused to comment on the company’s business and acquisition strategies during company-wide meetings. And acknowledged TikTok’s current ‘extraordinary circumstances’. Also on the other hand Microsoft has publicly confirmed it’s interested in buying TikTok’s operations in the US, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. And is very likely to make a deal with Bytedance before the deadline.
Will banning TikTok going to benefit Facebook
The Facebook CEO thinks on the basis of what is happening with TikTok right now, Facebook products could also become the target of another country later. However, he did think there was some validity in the security concerns that an app like TikTok can raise. Since TikTok came to the US, it has attracted younger audiences and outperformed many US-based apps (like Facebook-owned Instagram). And now Facebook just launched its TikTok clone Reels, to compete on the short-form video-creating feature and to attract younger audiences. With Reels, Facebook is hoping to fill up space that has been vacated in countries where TikTok has been banned (for example India). More space is going to open if the US bans TikTok too.
However, Zuckerberg told employees that banning the Byte-dance own app would only be ‘moderately beneficial’ to Facebook. Facebook engagement might go up if the TikTok gets banned, but this is only going to work for a short while. And You don’t run a company for a short while.